Tennis Season: Covid Edition


Kaylyn Shelby

Fossil Ridge Tennis team and coaches socially distance for team photo

Addy Ehleiter, Staff Writer

After finishing out the season with a fourth place victory in the state championship, Fossil Ridge High School’s boys’ tennis team can proudly say that this has been their best season yet.

The boys went into this challenging season, uncertain of if, or when, Covid would shut it down. Despite these fears, the team was more motivated than ever to improve their performances and dedicate themselves to this sport. 

“I was really motivated for the season, because it’s really fun playing with the team, so I kept playing as much as I could.” Explains John Shelby.

Similar to most other sports and activities, the tennis team was disappointed to see a shortened season and state tournament. At state, a limited number of spectators were allowed, which prevented the team from having the team atmosphere and support they usually do at competitions.

The doubles teams were required to wear masks during matches. (Kaylyn)

Nonetheless, the varsity team experienced an almost undefeated season, taking only one loss to Fairview High School, a match which Fossil did not have their entire team for. On the junior varsity side, they had an undefeated season, continuing their 63 consecutive wins—a streak that they have held for over five years!

The head coach, Steve Schultz is very proud of this season and seeing how the team is inspired to keep getting stronger and advancing their victories. Schultz says he can see the boys working hard to get better everyday. 

This type of dedication to the sport has really paid off for many athletes on the team. John Shelby, a junior on the team, jumped from being the number three player on the team last year, to leading the team as their number one player this season. 

“Going from three to one at Fossil, is not so easy to do.” explains Schultz [referring to Shelby].

Shelby explains that during the off season he participates in additional matches and tournaments, both locally and nationally. Practicing every day and working hard all throughout the year has helped to give him an advantage over his competitors, and also helped him to tie for a fifth place ranking at the state tournament. 

As a whole, the team is proud to have their highest placing at state yet and hopes that the coming years will bring even more improvement and competition. The boys are already preparing for next season and all the potential it brings.